September 26, 2005 12:00 PM

Anna Nalick: Riding high with her hit “Breathe (2 AM),” the 21-year-old Glendora, Calif., native kicks off a headlining tour Oct. 6 and opens for Rob Thomas starting on Nov. 6.

ON THE FIRST TIME SHE SANG IN PUBLIC I was 12 and performed the “The Star-Spangled Banner” at a local parade. I got so nervous my throat closed up.

ON BEING WOOED BY RECORD LABELS DURING COLLEGE People would say, “What did you do this weekend? and I’d say, “Nothing.” What was I going to say? “Oh, a record company flew me to New York, drove me around in a limo and I met John Mayer.” Who’s going to believe that?

ON HER FANS Some people have fans; I have friends. They come up and say, “Your song helped me through this.” “Breathe” enabled me to make beautiful connections most people don’t get in their entire lifetime.

ON MEETING ROB THOMAS I rewrote [Matchbox Twenty’s] “Push” when I was younger. I told him about it. He was like, “That’s awesome. Wait. When you were 12, you thought you could write my songs better than I could?”

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